Blog

Nessya

The Miracle of God

birth-3

It took us 4 years before we had Kyra and that too after seeking help and advise from our gynecologist. When we decided we were going to try for a second child, we were all prepared to visit our gynecologist again. However, before we could even start on our treatment, Beth got pregnant with dear Nessya. It was a very pleasant surprise for the both of us and hence her name, which means “The Miracle of God” in Hebrew. Beth got that all figured out even before Ness was born. With Kyra, we couldn’t decide till a month after she was born! And that too only 30 mins before the deadline to register her name.

birth
Kyra was actually looking forward to having a sister
birth-2
A newborn Ness
baptism-2
Ness at her baptism with Father Richards. She had a habit of sticking out her tongue then. 

baptism-3

The two sisters would grow up to be really close. Kyra would often boss her around but Ness would follow. It didn’t take us long to realise the two sister were quite different. Ness grew up to be a really cute and adorable toddler. She was also feisty and fearless, unlike Kyra, who was always more cautious. When Ness was younger, she hardly smiled. That however, belied an inner cheekiness and mischief. Now at 8 years of age, she often goes into hysterical laughters.

ness
Kyra took to Nessya and they have been pretty tight since

img_5313k

ness-3
More of her fearless nature. Kyra was always more cautious around water bodies. Ness ran straight into.

ness-5

ness-2
Ness with her best impression of her grand dad.

ness-7

Back then and even till today, it is always quite difficult to feed the two girls. Kyra loves Western food like Spaghetti and Pizza while Ness would only take Chinese food like fishball noodle soup and rice. Our helper used to prepare a bowl of noodles and on either side, a bowl of fishball soup and a bowl of Bolognese sauce.

ness-8

As she grew older, she had lots to comment on and Beth and I eventually compiled a series, #nessyasays

Here are some of my favourites. Be prepared to roll your eyes.

Ness: I like your car daddy!
Me: Didn’t you tell me before that you preferred mommy’s car cause mine is too small?
Ness: No. I like the mini cause it’s small like me.
Ness: You know what else is smaller?
Ness: Germs.

Maths with Ness: If her calculated answer is not one of the 4 choices provided, her first thought is usually that there is something wrong with the question. Not something wrong with her calculations.

All this while, the kids thought that the resident Wessex rooster lived alone. Today, we spotted it strolling along the road with a hen.
N: the rooster has a girlfriend! Like I have 14 boyfriends!
o_O

Ness, Kyra and myself fried up a batch of french fries. When they were done, Ness took one, kissed it and said “I am so in love with french fries. I think I can marry one”.

Ness likes wearing her clothes loose fitting. This preference strangely enough extends to her underwear. Today she pulled out this large looking panty from her drawer and exclaimed: “Oh my gosh! What a totally great panty for me!”

These kinda sums up the girl she is. =)

ness-9

11081145_10152821903992734_5204714508123921882_n

ness-12
Ness and her BFFs

kk_030214_0278h

_mg_0126u

 

Singing with Gusto!

Kyra when she was much younger. It always brings great joy to hear the children singing. A singing child cannot be an unhappy child, right? I have almost forgotten how she was like. How she was so chirpy and cheery – almost fearless. Hahaha. Now that she is older, she is a lot more conscious of herself. =) She still sings but perhaps not with as much gusto!

Kyra Learning to Speak Japanese

This was from about 8 years back. I had started shooting in Japan and saw myself shooting more in the years ahead. I contemplated having Japanese lessons just so it would be easier to communicate. However, that never came to fruition. Instead, Kyra, took up lessons and she did it pretty well! Ha. It went on for a few months with a friend of ours, Miki Noriyuki, who is a brilliant teacher and translator.

Sadly, Kyra no longer speaks Japanese but it just goes to show that kids at a young, do pick up languages reasonably easy and fast!

Meanwhile, I have yet to take up Japanese myself! That said, I am glad, I have been surviving fine in all my trips to Japan thus far.

 

 

Kyra

wa-1048

It has often been shared that your first born will always be special in your heart.

When we first had Kyra, we did not plan on having 5 kids nor could we imagine having 5. We had over 2 years of being with her alone, before Nessya came along. It was this period of having just her with us, that makes it special. We couldn’t have that with our other kids. We learned so much through her.

I remember the day Kyra was born vividly even now. I had shoots over Saturday and Sunday. After shooting on Saturday, I fetched Beth from her parents place. That night, at about about 3am, Beth woke me up. It was time. I remembered not feeling sleepy (when I should!) or nervous. I think it was all adrenaline at that point. We were both excited! We had waited long and couldn’t wait to meet this baby growing inside of Beth in person. We checked-in at the hospital and settled down. Nothing much happened and the nurses said, it would probably take a while before Beth was ready to deliver. I did what I had to do next – I left to shoot a wedding. It was 6am. I was still on adrenaline and I don’t recall feeling tired. I was just way too excited. I finished shooting the day’s celebrations and rushed back to be by Beth’s bedside. To my relieve, she still hasn’t given birth. We waited a while more and soon realised the nurses weren’t kidding when they said it would take a while. I ended up doing what I had to do next – a same day highlight for the couple! Now and then, our gynecologist would check back to see if Beth was ready. Coincidentally, he was also the guy who delivered Beth (and her sister and cousins!) How about that? Beth and her mom shares the same gynecologist.

I completed the highlight and with perfect timing, Beth was ready! It was about 530pm and I witnessed the birth of Kyra. It was a feeling of pure joy. It was also surreal. I was now a father and Beth and myself are now parents to a child! That said, I had to leave to shoot the dinner banquet! I left the hospital to continue my shoot. Admittedly, that evening was all a blur for me. I kept seeing images of Kyra as I shot. You know how big a moment is for you by the way it touches you and lingers on. This was a big moment for me. It made a huge impact! Everything was different from this moment forth.

The weeks to come was a complete chaos. As first time parents, and first time grandparents for our parents, it was frantic. Everyone wanted what was best for Kyra and everyone had an opinion and it wasn’t easy. We all had to compromise. We also made the foolish mistake of not hiring a nanny back then to help out. It was a real struggle for us – juggling between a newborn child and running a new business. We had registered our company just months before she was born. So Kyra and Lightedpixels share the same birth year. That said, we eventually cope. That’s how the human spirit is, isn’t it? It manages and it expands when needed.

Our lives obviously changed. We now had our lives revolving around this little child. When she slept, we all had to walk quietly around her lest we woke her up. My mom, being the Peranakan, remarked that we were like thieves around her! (Nowadays, we don’t bother anymore. The kids can sleep through almost anything!) I was traveling for my shoots quite a bit even back then, and Kyra and Beth would come along. In fact, it was in Perth when she first started to learn how to walk (in our friend’s house). Her first word was bear bear and she grew up loving Thomas the Train.

w005b

A newborn Kyra.

w001

Back at home with her great grandma (or cho cho). She was around 3 weeks old?

w458

Kyra and her grand dad.

web603

She had a healthy appetite and would often lunge for her milk bottle! She also had the loudest burp!

web696

kyra

As she grew older, she had the most pinch-able cheeks.

15978256_10155000651407033_966710685_n

15935948_10155000654007033_1113865448_n

355170_900

She was with us when we first traveled to Santorini for a shoot. She absolutely love the place. We got a great room with a view of the caldera but she was fascinated with the church bells and the donkeys instead.

352247_900

Some of the public pavements were made of marble, and Kyra would remove her shoes and walk barefoot thinking it was “home”. She would also lie on the floor, much to Beth’s exasperation.

img_6937

Eventually, we had Nessya and Kyra had a sister she could monkey around with. The two soon formed a close sisterly bond. She was always the more cautious of the two while Ness was simply fearless.

wimg_3830

wkk_220610_0066j

She was and has always been a happy child. Often generous with her smiles. She was also quite easy around strangers. Could be the many couples she meets when we were living and shooting around Wessex Estate. She was also generous with her love and hugs. On her first day of class in pre-school, when her class teacher called out her name, she stood up, walked up to her and hugged her! Surprised everyone!

24598_379398032733_955796_n

The train used to run pass our estate twice a day back when we were living in Wessex. Kyra would often go track side to see the train whistle by.

24598_379398037733_6735832_n

Having a photographer father, she picked up the camera at quite an early age (although not this Rolleiflex! She was just helping me to carry it around). She would shoot with a point and shoot Canon Ixus.

we_mg_8740

Photo by Bernice Wong (IWWI)

l1061743u

The day she started primary school was the day I realised she is fast growing up! She couldn’t wait to get started in school and is really proud to be in the same school as her mom was. She is also quite capable of getting ready for school all by herself – washing up, making breakfast and doing up her hair.

kk_030214_0024o

Being the first child, she has grown to care for her younger siblings. She can be quite bossy now but then again, most firstborns are!

wdsc08011

wcy_310816-266

One of the more recent photo of Kyra – taken during our annual family photo shoot last year. This was taken by Chris from the Lightedpixels Pixies.

wdsc07052

15134782_10154196783477734_4942571151600557482_n

For better or worse, she now has a number of siblings for company!

15698067_10154330809872734_2517752226691756556_n

Kyra with Mikaela. A ten year gap between the two but here’s hoping they grow up tight anyway.

wcy_310816-282

I think the bond between a father and a daughter is special. Eventually, the decisions she makes will be because of things I have done (or have not). It isn’t easy being a father. I am learning myself. I do not know for sure what is best for her. What I can do tho, is always have her back.

The First Post

I had asked myself if I would have the time to start and maintain a blog about my family. I am a wedding and family photographer. I also manage a group of incredible photographers. On top of that, I travel quite a lot for destination shoots! For the past 10 years, since I started my photography company, Lightedpixels, it has been one crazy frantic journey for Beth and myself. That said, we somehow still managed to have 5 kids! So surely, if that was possible, this is possible!

I reckon I need an avenue to document and share our family’s journey. It is both super challenging and rewarding raising 5 kids!

I have also always enjoyed connecting with people and sharing experiences.

And at the end of it all, I hope that the kids will know their parents a little better.

w4l5a5559s